One of the big questions I frequently get is “what technology should we use, Marc?” I always answer, “Well what’s the business/people strategy?” Eight times out of ten they respond they don’t have one, the problem is more a process issue, and they inevitably say, “I’ve got vendor blur, all the technology seems to do the same thing – just tell who should I go with!”
Of course you would imagine I’d say SAP right? Well, as I have actually told those of you who know me: technology is a key element, a critical one at that, but you have to have a plan. You can take a bad HR process, put it on lovely SAP Successfactors technology, and guess what? It will still be a bad process.
In this blog I hope to help you avoid vendor blur and understand what you’re buying when you get HR cloud technology, and get you to believe in its advantages over the pre-digital way of doing things.
I recently came across a great study by Gallup that looked at HR over the last twenty years, and it showed that despite the rise of the PC, the mobile phone and the Internet, HR work has not moved beyond a majority administration focused role. “Wow,” I’m sure you thinking, “now tell me something I don’t know.”
The reason I bring this up is that the change has finally come. With the new SAP digital hub we have the new workforce covered. No longer is HR technology about a standalone core system that polices and processes.
Today’s platform needs to be predictive, constantly upgraded, mobile-enabled, at the centre of the company’s systems, and have a great user-experience and seamless data flow.
For instance, the modern HR manager should be able to input an employee’s leave time and hire a new contingent worker – while booking a last minute holiday with their family – all on their mobile phone while dropping the kids off at preschool. Does this sound like the future of work? It’s not – that was my morning today. And with a two-year old and four-year old sons, trust me, this was amazing.
The world changes at a rapid pace, and it’s only getting more rapid. Here are three principles I urge you to consider when asking yourself the “what technology should I be using” question.
- When you’re buying a service (SaaS), you’re buying into a company that is going to be (hopefully) bringing constant innovation to the software that will help you meet employee needs. So look into their research and development spend, and if they’ve been receiving awards and plaudits for their user experience. Check to see if they’re commercially stable and have proven domain experience. Finally, make sure they have partnerships with other vendors – that’s a sign of industry trust.
- Does the technology have connectivity or ‘integration’ to the wider technology eco-system? Does it hook up with finance, e-commerce and the internet of things? Is it mobile first?
- Finally, when all is said and done, can you see yourself having a positive ongoing relationship with the organisation? Have they understood your business, and do they stand up in the independent analyst reports? Here’s the clincher: Would you buy shares in them for your retirement?
Remember, it’s no longer a purchase for this year or the next three. The world is changing, three years in the modern world is what 30 years used to be. So pick a trusted technology partner that not only provides the platform but also the business insights and experience that will ensure your business can concentrate on doing what it needs to, not only what the internal systems let it do.
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